by Brady Hill
~COP27 Day 2 & 3~
Let's talk methane!
First of all, I'm no methane expert. It's been an incredible experience to learn more here at COP27 about the criticality and urgency of methane emissions, tracking technologies, and policies necessary to curb methane emissions in support of limiting overall global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Methane is key to limiting global warming; as such, it's been at the heart of many discussions here at COP27.
According to UNEP, methane is 80 times more potent (with regards to global warming ability) than carbon dioxide in the first 20 years after it reaches the atmosphere. Methane is responsible for 0.5°C of the 1.2°C of global warming we've experienced so far since the dawn of the industrial era. Per the United Nations, curbing methane emissions is the quickest way that we can limit global warming in our lifetime, and aggressive methane emissions action is projected to enable a 0.3°C reduction in global warming by 2040. Methane is therefore a key focus for humanity in our fight to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
Here are some notes regarding methane and COP27 discussions:
- Methane reduction is primarily focused on 3 sectors: oil & gas, agriculture, and waste
- Given recent advances in methane emission measurement capabilities, we have learned that we are likely underestimating total methane emissions by about 60% in the U.S.
- Many solutions to provide more accurate global methane monitoring are not yet operational; as such, the urgency of methane emissions reduction relies on utilizing currently available data to estimate methane emissions to manage and cut emissions in the near-term
- Since methane is invisible, measurements from ground, air, and space-based sensors are critical to obtain accurate knowledge of methane emissions sources to inform policies and management efforts
- The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act in the U.S. is imposing the usage of empirical data to generate a realistic methane fee program
- Standardized, international methane emission reporting is crucial to address emissions globally
- Real-time methane emission monitoring, reporting, and transparency is critical such that the public can monitor the progress of countries around the world and keep them accountable
Here's a not-so-shameless plug for my company regarding methane and satellite remote-sensing...MethaneSAT (which Ball Aerospace designed and built the sensor for) was just recently named one of Time Magazines top inventions of 2022!
Here's some other timely links regarding methane and COP27:
Biden announces restrictions on methane emissions at COP27:
United Nations announces that it will launch a public database of global methane leaks detected from space: